The fall beef and noodle dinner will be hosted by St. John’s UCC on Friday, October 28, 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. The menu includes beef, homemade noodles, mashed potatoes, green beans, apple sauce, roll, pies and beverages. Prices: Adults–$8.00; 6th grade through college: $5.00; Elementary: $4.00; Pre-K: Free. Everyone is invited.
Even a crabby old judge who hates people will cave and grant the widow her wish if she’s persistent. That’s what Jesus tells us in this parable from Luke’s Gospel. Go ahead, he says, this is how you should pray: keep on asking and don’t give up. Keep knocking on the door even if it feels like nobody’s home. Push past the receptionist, wave your petition in the judge’s face, beg and ask and ask again. Probably, if you’re bothering a judge, you should also have a high tolerance for embarrassment as well as a dogged attitude.
Prayer, says Jesus, is a vigorous exercise. The good news about being a church-goer is you don’t have to go it alone. Churches all over the UCC pray together. At Westminster UCC in Spokane, Washington, they share their concerns and their joys during worship. These get bundled into a congregational prayer and then lifted up again during the weekly prayer and meditation group. First Congregational, Charlotte, Michigan, has a prayer circle that meets twice a month. Their website proclaims: “We believe that a united and focused prayer accomplishes more and that there is more to God’s vision for our lives than what we settle for. We know that God delights to answer prayer.” What does your church do to keep a persistent presence of prayer in your congregation?
People who pray together are not shy about their faith. The widow bothering the judge was not afraid of asking, not afraid of knocking on God’s door. Making the commitment to pray together is a way of making sure you do it–like a walking group that helps you stick to a resolution to exercise. Prayer groups help you keep on praying even when you feel too busy or stressed. Sometimes, just knowing that people are counting on you gets you out of your chair and heading to church, where finding others in a circle ready to pray for the world is community worth praying for and with. Keep on knocking!
Across this country and throughout the United Church of Christ, grants are given each year for mission projects and partnerships and UCC-related ministries that reach into our neighborhoods and make a difference. Your gifts to Neighbors in Need make those grants possible. They fund community gardens, food banks, special ministries to the homeless, interfaith programming on college campuses, college and career counseling for inner city youth, programs to help with housing for at-risk families and children, and just about anything our congregations can envision a need for in their communities.
Look around your neighborhood. What neighbors are there who have a need that either you can help fill or that you can manage with the help of an existing organization? What needs might inspire you to start something yourself? Where might your congregation be called to lend a hand, make a difference, and be there for someone who needs the love of God made tangible? How can you make your town/city/village be better because there is a United Church of Christ worshiping and proclaiming the love of Jesus in its midst?
Oh God, thank you for all that we able to give. Breathe your blessing on this offering. Send it into the world on the wings of the good news of Jesus Christ. May the givers be as full of your love as those who receive. May these gifts shine in the hearts of your people so that the hungry are fed. May all hear the message of hope born in our generosity. We are your church offering your love in the best that we do. Amen.
A total of $369.00 has been collected for the Neighbors in Need mission project. Donations may be made through the end of October.
You will notice that the food pantry shelves empty out quickly, especially after the third Saturday distribution takes place. Out of our abundance, we need to meet the needs of others. On a Sunday morning, open your cupboard door and pull out a can, box, jar of something and bring it in and place it on the table at the front of the sanctuary. (Please check expiration dates before bringing in items.) Thank you!
The Tuesday morning ladies group and the Board of Christian Education hosted a “repursing” party on Tuesday, September 13. A total of 25 purses were filled with a variety of small toiletry items which included toothpaste, toothbrushes, hand creams, tissues, etc. The purses will be distributed to the ladies at the Samaritan House in Lima on Tuesday, October 18. A future distribution will be made with the remaining purses.
We thank everyone who donated gently used purses for the project. A special thank you is in order to the Et Cetera Shop in Bluffton for the very generous donation of used purses for the Samaritan House project.
Tuesday, October 18–Ladies travel to Lima to tour the Samaritan House, deliver the purses, and proceed to the Old Barn Out Back for lunch (10:30 a.m.); TOPS 6:00 p.m.
Wednesday, October 19–Men meet at Arby’s, 8:30 a.m.; Bible Study with Pastor David Good speaking on “Predestination”, 10 a.m. Everyone is welcome to attend. 7:00 p.m. Choir rehearsal.
Sunday, October 23–Consistory Meets following the worship service
Tuesday, October 25–Ladies travel to Lima to tour the Heart Beat facility, 10:30 a.m., and proceed to the Beer Barrel for lunch
Wednesday, October 26–Potato peeling in Oppermann Hall kitchen, 9:30 a.m.–everyone is invited to participate. This is in preparation for the beef and noodle dinner on October 28
Friday, October 28–Beef and Noodle Dinner (4:30 to 6:30 p.m.) This is a community event, and everyone is invited.
If you would like to volunteer for helping serve at Our Daily Bread soup kitchen in Lima on Tuesday, November 22, please sign up on the bulletin board in the sanctuary. Helpers are always welcome.
You are missing out on a super way to advertise our church if you are not sharing with many of your other Facebook friends St. John’s Facebook page. There are many interesting articles posted every day. “Friend” all of your friends and ask them to “Like” the St. John’s page–let’s let people know we are here, alive, and moving forward!
In an effort to make this site easier for you to access, it can now be found at www.blufftonstjohns.com! You can still find this page using the old web address, but now it will be easier to tell family and friends where they can find up-to-date news about St. John’s UCC in Bluffton, Ohio.